The Sun was shyly peeking from behind the hills when Twilight Sparkle woke up. Her bed never felt so uncomfortable for some reason. Then she realized why that was.
She was in a sitting position, with her head laid upon the chess board from the last night. One of the pawns was stabbing her cheek. As she raised her head, the mentioned piece remained stuck on her skin for a little while, before falling down on the board and producing a small clacking noise; leaving a somewhat painful sensation on her face. The warm blanket over her back slipped quietly to the floor.
She slowly got up and stretched, then felt a bit of annoying pain in her neck. She managed to get it to leave after stretching out every muscle. It took her a few moments to realize Discord wasn't there.
For a moment she panicked, imagining he must've escaped and was already causing chaos around the Ponyville, if not all of Equestria - then she recalled the whole reason why draconequus even lived with her.
"Uh, what time is it anyway?" She asked herself quietly. The old clock informed her it was still a bit early. She concluded she could let Spike sleep a little bit longer, then headed to the bathroom to freshen herself up.
What a surprise was awaiting for her though, as she looked herself in the mirror - there, on the forehead of her own reflection, with a perfectly fine handwriting, she saw a small message:
Be right back!
It was written mirrored, like he knew she was going to check herself in the mirror. Twilight noticed with some distress he drew a small heart next to it. Charming. Just charming. If that was his way of trying to be cute, he was failing as far as she was concerned.
"Oh, that silly--" Annoyed, Twilight mumbled to herself as she tried to wash away the ink on her forehead. Even a bigger surprise was the fact she couldn't remove it no matter what she tried or what soap she used. Desperate, she even considered using bleach, but decided wearing a giant white spot on her forehead wasn't her thing.
"You have got to be kidding me!" She growled and finally gave up. Her bangs were covering most of it anyway. Once he came back, she would demand it taken off.
Thinking of it, where in the world could he be, anyway?
The answer came with the very loud sound of door opening and closing, as well as the sound of Discord's over the top maniacal laughter. Not wanting to know what happened, yet wanting to get it over with right away, Twilight descended down to face an interesting scene: Discord was looking through the window, apparently hiding from somepony; the interesting thing was him carrying a few empty glass bottles, something that seemed to be a somewhat old and very long garland messily wrapped around him body and an ink marker behind his ear. Probably the very same one he scribbled the message on her forehead with. He was giggling like a small child, overly happy with whatever he had done.
Whatever it was, she probably wasn't going to like it. In fact, she concluded, she didn't even have to know.
"Discord." She addressed him sternly, apparently surprising the Spirit as the bottles nearly feel from his hands.
"Good morning, Twilight Sparkle! And a wonderfully trouble bringing morning it is!"
Despite the cheerful greeting, her gaze remained stern. "...Discord, what have you done?"
Discord gave her the most innocent look he could produce.
"Now, why ever would you think I did something?"
"Well, putting aside the obvious," Twilight eyed the stuff Discord had with him, as well as the, at the moment, much hated marker pen, "your over-the-top happiness can never be a good sign."
"You had no problem with my happiness last night, if I recall right." Discord noticed, then got back to spying through the window.
Twilight couldn't help herself - the fact he just told her he was happy last night, which led to logical conclusion that he enjoying himself spending time with her, made her whole morning a dozen times better. She smiled sheepishly.
"Right. But then you weren't pranking neighbors, or... whatever you're doing right now."
"You guessed it dear; the whole Ponyville shall once again suffer the chaotic deeds of mine!"
He turned triumphantly to Twilight, his talon finger pointing at her in an extremely dramatic way; but allover he obviously had the intention of looking interesting.
"The fact my powers are gone doesn't mean a thing to me anymore! I, Discord, the Spirit of Chaos and Disharmony will never give up at giving the citizens of Ponyville and anyone else the piece of chaos and disturbance this boring little town needs!"
The Spirit gleefully and swiftly flew into her kitchen, leaving the quite stunned purple pony alone to think. Despite the fact Discords' words should've worried her, Twilight felt a bit impressed. She knew the chaos he was going to produce wasn't going to be nearly as dangerous like before and he couldn't really do much outside Ponyville. But still, he wasn't giving up; completely stripped of powers, brought to the level he deemed unworthy at first, yet keep on doing what he loved the most in his chaotic life. Sadly. And she was supposed to change that.
Somehow, it seemed more challenging than before.
"Oh, I shouldn't be thinking like that!" Twilight shook her head violently. "Ugh, don't give up Twilight! After all, you have a lot of time ahead of you. Your time with Discord has just begun!"
She followed the Spirit into the kitchen and wished she didn't. Its ceiling was decorated with garland Discord brought in. It wouldn't be that bad if he didn't decide to spray the whole thing with an old can of fake snow, that now quietly fell all over the kitchen table and floor.
"I think it's a nice touch, for a start. Really pops out of the usually monotone decor and adds the unexciting festivity to this room. But it needs some radiant color. Like red."
"Where did you get that thing anyway?"
"I pulled it off some house."
"They should know better, the Heart's Warming Eve has gone."
"Oh right, I have to tell you this one; so there I was, sitting on this pony's window, preparing to throw a pot in front of some stallion that was walking right underneath and I notice, window is ajar! So I sneaked in and slowly and quietly woke up the somepony in their bed - you should've seen that look on that mare's face, oh my!" The Spirit bent in half and fell to the floor laughing.
"You broke into someone's house?!"
"I visited." He corrected without delay, still laughing. "And I rid them of this old thing. Seriously, why was that thing hanging in there, anyway? They must cherish the holiday greatly.
"Discord! You broke in and stole! That is punishable by law-- why in the hay am I even telling you that, you know it well!"
He snorted as he flew into the air and circled around her joyfully, mocking her:
"Oooh~ I am such a criminal, aren't I? What are you going to do - take me to the officers of law and lock me up?"
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"I can not believe you took me to the officers of law and had me locked up."
Twilight didn't waste a moment of time bringing Discord to justice - or in this case, putting him into detention, locking him up for a few hours, then coming to pick him up, purely to teach him just how are those things punishable around here; but there was a limited amount of time she could feel alright with leaving Discord to scare anyone he could in the station. By the time she came back, the Spirit was wailing out of boredom in his cell and the guards were pretty much terrified.
"That cell was even more boring than your library, if that is possible."
"Then that will be your first valuable lesson, I suppose - no stealing and no breaking in." Twilight told him off, much like a parent would.
The Spirit groaned in frustration. The two kept on walking for some time and Twilight realized they weren't heading home. This could be a nice opportunity for a talk and maybe learning something about him.
"While we're outside, why don't we go for a walk? If you're alright with it, of course."
"Actually, a magnificent guy such as me naturally prefers more magnificent means of a 'walk'."
"I would rather go flying."
"If you plan on running away, I swear--"
"Even if I did my dear, without my powers it would be meaningless. No, what I had in mind," he laid his lion paw gently on her back and gave her a very significant look, "was both of us going for a fly."
It took Twilight one horrifying moment to realize what he was talking about and it was already too late to run away.
"Discord, no. No, no, no nononoNO, NO, NOOO!" Her words fell on deaf ears as the draconequus picked her up with no trouble at all and placed her on his back; with the very short warning to hold tight he flew swiftly into the air with surprising speed that made her squeeze his slim body tighter. As he started twirling, spinning and going incredibly fast, Twilight started to shriek.
"I'm howlin' at the moon,
and sleepin' in the middle of a summer afternoon~"
"Oh, nothing dear~!"
They kept going up and higher at amazing speed, that Twilight knew was enough to at the least match the speed of Rainbow Dash. They were rising towards the cloudy sky and soon found themselves in the thick white cloudy mist. Then, they were met with the blinding power of the Sun.
Twilight blinked a couple of times, temporarily blinded and felt the body of the draconequus slow down. They finally stopped, but she realized she didn't dare to open her eyes.
"Twilight Sparkle, what in the world are you doing with your eyes closed?" Discord chuckled. "Your lack of interest into this whole new world above disappoints me."
"We're even higher than the Cloudsdale's altitude; I'm kind of nervous, if you don't mind." Twilight responded automatically, both annoyed by the fact he thought this was perfectly alright and pretty frightened of falling down. She heard the draconequus sigh.
"As you wish; I'll enjoy the view by myself then."
He didn't respond and Twilight couldn't take it anymore; she opened her eyes and loudly gasped, which drew a wise smile on Discord's face.
Up, the endless pastel blue sky, with Sun in such stunningly clear vision. Looking at it made Twilight feel dizzy. Below and onwards, a white, fluffy sea of misty clouds, moving slowly and carelessly, some of them bouncing and overlapping like water in slow motion. Twilight never went so high above it all, above the whole world. It surprised her there was little to no wind up here. And the silence. Such an amazing, barely at all disturbed silence.
The view got her literally speechless as she kept looking around, constantly searching for a sign of Ponyville or the tips of the forest, or anything remotely connected to the earth. Her mind was taking her flying across the endless sea of clouds, far away to the white and blue horizon...
"You've fallen unusually silent, Twilight Sparkle."
Twilight blinked, finding herself once again on the back of the draconequus. She didn't even notice until now he descended on one of the idle small clouds that got away from its fluffy herd.
"I... I'm just... wow." She let out a breathy laugh. Her astonishment made him chuckle.
Twilight gently stooped down from his back to the fluffy surface, in the process casting a spell to be able to do so - walking on them was the weirdest sensation ever, far different than the the clouds on Cloudsdale.
"Wow, this is so weird."
"I find it quite comfy."
"Hmm, I guess. It would be so hard to sleep on these, they are too soft... and bouncy."
The two once again fell silent for a moment and Twilight wondered if this is how the Spirit of Disharmony spent his time relaxing. Then again, it was way too... serene and peaceful up here. Or in Discord's terms, boring. He probably just wanted to stretch his wings.
Then she suddenly felt a soft poke on her forehead. The draconequus' lion paw was gently touching her forehead, an unusual smile over his face. For a moment, he was just sitting there, not doing anything. Twilight's curiosity got the best of her, and with a confused smile, she mumbled:
"Huh? What are you--"
She felt being pushed backwards, towards the edge of the cloud. Her heart raced.
"WHAT THE HAY?! DISCO--GYAAA!"
The purple pony stood on the very edge now, feeling like she might slip from the cloud at any second, with Discord's finger still on her forehead, as gentle as before. The very amused draconequus stifled a laugh.
"Stop it, stop it, stop it, stop it!"
"Oh dear, the look on your face is a memory I'll treasure forever!" The draconequus snickered, still not letting her return her balance. Twilight's voice turned into a semi-cry.
"I'm going to FALL!"
"I'm not pushing you any further, now am I?"
"Discoooord~" Twilight whined, half annoyed, half terrified by the actions of a teasing draconequus. She was sure to a certain degree that he wouldn't let her fall, but that didn't make the sensation of being dangerously near falling any less scary.
"Oh please, cut the whining, you're sounding like the rock obsessed fashionista."
"Rarity-Schmarity, I don't care." The Spirit stared at her in amusement, but then squinted. Twilight watched with a decent amount of tension how he leaned in and looked at her face, then used his talons to remove the mane of her forehead. Twilight frowned as the Spirit bit his lip and once more started snickering.
"What?" Twilight spat angrily at his amusement.
"You never removed that ink message from your forehead. Am I really that dear to you?"
"Ha-oh-HA. I can't, nothing works."
"Hmm..." Discord seemed to be thinking before playfully adding: "It is pretty ironic for you to have a 'be right back' written on your forehead while you're an inch or two away from falling to your demise."
The purple unicorn was moments away from whimpering.
"Perhaps, if you apologize for 'bringing me to justice', I might consider not letting you fall down."
"Yeah, as if you would do such a--" Twilight watch with widened eyes as the Spirit got into a slightly more comfortable position, his finger still lazily lingering on her forehead - and then gently pushed forward again.
"GYAAA! I'M SORRY, I'M SORRY, OK?! OH, DEAR CELESTIA!"
The panicked shrieks of the unicorn and her very unique facial expression were the last straw for the draconequus; he bent over as he once again started laughing maniacally, allowing the frightened unicorn to regain her balance. Twilight scooted over to the middle of the cloud, breathing rapidly and glaring at the amused Spirit.
"You--!" She let her instinct take over her and pushed Discord strongly with her front hooves; a push she gave too much strength it would appear, as it sent the still laughing draconequus over the cloud edge. She gasped.
"Wai--No, Discord!" She looked down into the cloudy sea, but to her surprise the Spirit was gone and his laughter had died. Could it be possible he fell all the way down bellow? What if he didn't succeed in catching the wind properly, and isn't able to fly? What if he...
Twilight's heart was probably the loudest thing above the clouds at that point. She was about to call for him once again, sheer panic taking over her, her legs trembling and her eyes growing wet...
"EEEK! You jerk!"
"Pffffhahahahaha!" The spirit slithered from underneath the cloud where he was hiding, laughing even louder than before. Twilight felt tired. The morning pranks, whole ride into the sky and Discords antics wore her out more than she expected. She laid down and buried her face into her bent legs.
"Aww, come on, Twilight Sparkle, it is all in good chaotic fun."
"This is just too much for me." Twilight noticed with heavy heart, her voice half cracking and half giggling.
The spirit merely shrugged and sat peacefully on the cloud. The sudden silence made her suspicious, so she glanced at him. The sight of the mismatched Spirit staring at the horizon with a certain dose of thinking was weird.
"What are you doing?" She asked, which sounded kind of stupid seeing as he wasn't actually doing anything; but Discord seemed to have understood what she was trying to ask.
"Sometimes, back when I was still roaming free, I liked to come up here..."
Oh, he's actually saying why? What could it be?
"... just sit back..."
Relax? Think? Have some place to be alone and confront his true feelings?!
"... and imagine what would it be like to turn the sky, clouds and earth upside down for one day!"
"Huh?" Twilight deadpanned.
"Just imagine!" The ambitious Spirit turned to her, eyeing her with half crazy look in his eyes.
"Walking on the firm limited sky, with sea of clouds above you and endless earth above them! Makes no sense at all! Vertigo! Vertigo everywhere!" He laughed again on the thought of distraught ponies living through such a hellish day. Twilight frowned.
"So how come you didn't do that already?"
Discord waved his hand dismissively.
"N'aw, that's impossible; even for a once incredibly powerful and still extremely handsome guy such as I am."
What does 'being handsome" have to do with that, anyway?
"I do demand a certain amount of power to change the laws of Nature that much. If I ever tried something that senseless though, it would probably destroy me."
"Really?" Twilight asked with interest, realizing she was getting information she so deeply wanted.
"So, where else lay the limits of your magical power?"
"Hmm, it is hard to say." Draconequus replied lazily, apparently thinking it through.
"The hardest spell I ever performed involved-- what are you doing?"
"Huh? Nothing." Twilight tried to unsuccessfully hide the parchment and quill she summoned moments ago. Discord arched an eyebrow.
"You're an outstanding student of magic Twilight Sparkle, but your lying skills are terrible. Leave it to your friend, Liarjack." he grinned as he swiftly stole the parchment from behind her back. As he read what was on the paper, his face changed from minor curiosity to a surprised smile.
"Aww, I feel honored! I am a research item!"
She was flushing by now. "Give it back!" Twilight tried to grab the parchment from the fingers of now standing Spirit, but he kept her away with his hand.
"Hmm, you really don't have much info on me, now do you, honorary protege of Celestia."
Twilight finally used her magic to banish the quill and her research back to her home.
"Tsk, so cheap." the Spirit scolded.
"What I research is none of your business!" Twilight replied a bit more snobbishly than she intended to. The Spirit chuckled, eyeing her curiously.
"Well it is if I am the one being researched; for such a fine, study-dedicated and rational pony, I would've thought you'd ask me directly instead of twisting your words around such a simple question."
Twilight didn't quite know what to say; truth to be told, she didn't expect him to be so blunt about it. In fact, for some reason, she thought he might be mad about her doing a research on him. But Discord seemed anything but angry - proud, flattered even.
"...Ah-I..." a slightly awkward silence filled the air.
"Let us go back, I am starving. That assistant of yours had better made us some dinner." He picked her up and she knew what was next.
"Y-You know, I could use the transportation spell---" she didn't even finish her question properly and he already held her in his hands, but decided not to carry her on his back. He just held her like a puppy, facing away from him.
"Aren't you going to carry me on your back at least? Please?"
"Oh, but this way, I'll get to see that priceless facial expression of yours again!"
"Discord no, NO, NOOO~"
And with those words, the spirit clutched firmly the poor unicorn's body and dived into the clouds below, offering Celestia's student an excellent view on the ground she felt like she was going to hit very soon. She couldn't contain a shriek of both fear and joy.
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"All done! Hope Discord likes daisy sandwiches-- then again, what do I care? He can eat dirt as far as I'm asked." Spike was in the middle of setting up the table, having indeed made the dinner for the two of them; he already had his portion of gems. Just as he was done with serving the sandwiches, the library door opened to reveal very happy-go-lucky Spirit and pretty worn out Twilight.
"Oh, hello Twilight! Discord." He added, a bit less enthusiastic. "The dinner is serve-- Twilight? What's wrong? And what is that on your forehead?" Spike had to ask upon seeing her somewhat messed up mane and the somewhat visible scribbles around her horn.
"Oh, hi Spike. Don't worry, nothing is wrong; I just had a really... well... chaotic day." the tired unicorn smiled softly.
"I'm so glad to be of service, dear." Discord bowed slightly as he offered her a pen that seemed to be an eraser, resulting in her rolling her eyes, but smiling only even wider. Why were his words making her smile, she had no idea.
"Well, I'm off to bed. Seriously Twilight, if you're going to keep him around here, he actually could do something to help after all; now that you're busy with him, I have more work to do than ever." The dragon commented before climbing upstairs into the bedroom.
Twilight thought of Spike's idea, but could tell by the look on Discord's face he wasn't ready to do such things; or better said, he was unwilling.
"Oh, was today a fun day - your every shriek and every prank I play on you have been more satisfying by themselves than pranking any number of ponies; probably because you're usually so collected."
"You're so mean." Twilight responded as she finished removing the marker traces of her forehead.
"I am Discord. Deal with it."
Twilight didn't say anything; not until a sudden realization came to her. The purple unicorn smiled happily as she stood up from the table, finished her meal and heading slowly towards the second floor.
"No... I don't believe you're that mean, actually, now that I think about it."
Discord stared at her in disbelief; judging by his face he was either deeply hurt or merely shocked.
"Of course I am! I am the--"
"This morning, I found a blanket over my back. Spike was already asleep by then and wasn't getting up during the night. Which leaves you." The suddenly upset Spirit was seemingly trying to find the right words to reply, but he didn't say anything. She got up and gently nuzzled his lion paw, which pretty much terrified him. "That is so sweet of you." She gave him a cute smile.
Discord stood so still that she might as well have concluded he became a statue again. The expression on his face was... absolutely and totally...
"Priceless." A single word left Twilight's lips as she went upstairs to her bed, leaving the utterly baffled Discord to cure his boredom however he could for the rest of the evening.
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To anyone not understanding just what the Hell is Discord singing as they are flying towards the sky (lol) ... listen to this amazing song: Discord's Theme
That song partially inspired this chapter. Only partially.